David Evans: Room with a View - on British Abstract Art



David Evans:
Room with a View

Framed (ref: 8048)
26 ¾ x 39 ¾ in. (68 x 101 cm)

Tags: David Evans watercolour Evans David Evans (1929-1988) — The Period Charm of Thatcher's Britain

Provenance: The Artist's Studio

Literature: "David Evans (1929-1988)", edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, published by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, 2017. ISBN 978-0-9930884-6-9, cat 127, page 166.

In a letter to The Redfern Gallery dated 1 January 1981 he said that in choosing the titles he aimed for something that would be ‘beguiling’. His titles are typically characterised by innuendo and humour : Horrendous Rex; Bird Watching; Murphy Rules; The Land of Nod; Many titles remain enigmatic: 89th Parallel; Fete of Klee; The L9; Voices of 1431; 207 Miles Per Hour (1979); City Seconds (1979)....

His subjects range from the sacred to the profane and the mundane to the exotic; though frequently with the edges blurred: Noli Me Tangere; The Wages of Sin and Co (1979); Scenes from Provincial Life (1979); South Sea Bubble(1978); The Angel of Mons (1978). The Old Testament and Pagan world provided a ready stream of themes in which Evans’ imagination could flow freely, responding with science-fiction style reinterpretations of age old subjects: Tower of Babel (1981-82); David and Goliath; Dies Irae (1978), Venus Observed (1979); Sirens; The Witch  of Endor; Opus Surgieum; Saxons (1978); Landscape with Angels.

Many of his subjects evolve around days out: Reptile House (1979); Aquarium; The Natural History Museum (1978); Figures on a beach and sporting activities: Cricketers (1981) Pool Players (1981-2); Rugby; Skaters (1979); Gymnasts; Bike Rally. Spectacles were a favourite subject: Stadium Crowd (1988); Theatre Audience (1980); Night at the Opera; First Floor Foyer; Live at the New Roxy (1978); Live at the New Tree; The Great Corelli; Tracy’s Disco-Bar (1979); The Crystal Room (1980); Madam Noys; Street Theatre; Horror Film (1988). Fun fairs were the subject of at least three compositions: Dodgems (1976), New Improved Ghost Train (1981-2); Fundrome (1979)Nocturnal scenes were also favourite subjects: Night Flight; Night Landscape II (1979); Nocturnal (1979); Fireworks(1988); City Lights. Evans rejoiced especially in painting an often exclusively male milieu: Men’s Hairdressing (1979); Turkish Baths (1981-82); Club Night II (1988).CAT. 24 – Life Drawing Class, pen & ink on paper, 22 x 29 ½ in. (56 x 75 cm).

Roads and railways, the essential links between Evan’s two worlds of town and country, commonly provide the main subject of compositions: Central Line – Aldgate East (1988), City Railway (1988); Anglian Rail (1979); Station Approaches (1979); A Road to Wickham; City Approaches; Mainline Bar.When in his native Suffolk, activities around Potash Farm (where he lived from 1969 onwards), provided a wealth of subjects: Potash Garden (1978); Cabbage Pickers (1981-20; Flower Garden (1981-2); The Allotment (1986); Crown Imperial (1988); Geraniums (1981-2); Gladioli, Daffodils (1986); Irises; Apples (1986); Pumpkins (1986);The Marrow Family; Cabbages; Cows Come Home (1981); Friesians; Cows XII; Piglets; Seagulls; Tour d’Anglia; Suffolk Scrap; Ruralia Mddx; Wessex; Suffolk Landscape (1979); Ipswich.

In his imagination Evans also travelled further afield: Rhine Journey; Tipperary; Scapa Flow (1977); and further still: Asia Major, Indian Landscape; Slavonic Dances; Arabian Days (1980).

The Army and Airforce were frequently in evidence in his paintings, or the subject of entire compositions: Taarget  Practice;  Sleeping  Barrack;  The  Encampment  (1986);  Army  Life  I  and  II  (1986);  Manoeuvres;  Private  army  (1981-2); Night Flight  (1981-2);  Aran  Pilot  (1986);  Ascending Aeroplane;  Fire  Over  England  (1981-2); War  in  the  Air. RAF Wattisham, which during the Cold War was a major front-line air force base was less than 20 miles from Potash Farm.

Music was a lifelong passion for Evans, both classical and pop, which he explored through the record shop he ran in London and attending concerts, especially to see Pete Gage perform. Titles including, Al Ziggy and Trev (1980), Buskers (1979); To the strains of piped Grieg; Choral Symphony (1981-2); Music Underground (1981-2); “Devil’s Trill” Sonata; Grosse Nachtmusik. Evans frequently alluded to the similarities between art and music and each of his works was given an Opus number.

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